Saturday, July 11, 2009

Going Off

I harp on Republicans all the time. As a political coalition, I disagree with them on...just about everything, but beyond that I think many of their political ideas are actually harmful to society at large.

Their obsession with war, for instance. But that's another post for another day.

Matt Yglesias talks about another big one, the extreme resistance to public works.
I think it’s pretty uncontroversial to say that picking up trash, cleaning streets, fixing potholes, etc. are the kind of things government should be doing. It’s also clear that if you compare the United States to other countries, it’s possible for a country to have cleaner, better-maintained streets than we have. Doing better on this score wouldn’t be brain surgery and would provide low-skill jobs. And, yes, it would cost money. But the United States of America is the wealthiest society the world has ever known. It’s a bit ridiculous that we can’t repair damaged sidewalks in a timely manner. Or, rather, given that we clearly can repair damaged sidewalks, it’s ridiculous that we don’t.
Yes, it is ridiculous.

But when you have "Not My Tax Dollar" thinking, it's totally predictable. Here's a typical winger response (which I really hope is a parody):
Brad Says:
July 10th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Awesome! What we need are more unionized over-paid no-skill government workers that are parasitic of the productive citizenry for 20 years, and then retire with a fat pension also paid for by productive citizens! Hear hear!
What the fuck?

You get the union hatred, a reflex in some quarters that would rather deny the exploitative tendencies of big industry. (And why is the anti-union sentiment never directed at sports unions, who pay their members millions and produce nothing but "Great Sports Moments?")

Then you've got the no-skill jibe, even though no-skill jobs aren't exactly optional. Someone's got to clean those toilets and take out that trash, right? Are people who do unskilled but necessary jobs supposed to be paid shit wages?

Then you have the whole productive citizen parasite bullshit. Dude! I know about parasitic unproductive citizens. (Ask me how I feel about my Dad's wife.) And the guy paid by the city to fix a sidewalk is most definitely not a parasite. What makes him a parasite? Because he's getting paid by the city?


Friday, July 10, 2009

She's In It For the Money

Yeah, sorry, Chas.

Even with the most charming personality, fat dudes just don't hook up with chicks like that unless it's for the money.

Wrestling Against Milk

Having seen both films now, I think I can speak intelligently on the subject:

Mickey Rourke should have won the Oscar instead of Sean Penn.

A) The Wrestler was much more entertaining than Milk. I wanted to watch The Wrestler again, while one viewing of Milk will do me.

B) As I feared, Sean Penn totally over-gayed it. Not too terribly much, but with the exception of James Franco, all the straight actors playing gay roles in Milk were too, what's the word, girly. James Franco didn't do a single swish walk, didn't bend his wrists like a stereotypical poof, and he never curtsied once. Gus Van Sant should have told Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, and Diego Luna to tone it down. "Less Jessica Tandy, Sean, more Harvey Milk."

C) Mickey Rourke's performance was brilliant. It's a careful, patient study of a very tough, and very vulnerable, human being. Sean Penn's performance was inspired, not brilliant, part mimicry, part extrapolation, and while there are some glimpses in Harvey Milk's humanity, the movie treats him mostly like an idea: The first openly gay politician, an inspiration to the movement first, a man second.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Public Transportation Chronicles

There's this lady who takes the bus with me in the morning, a nice lady all things considered, older, very polite and well-socialized. She's not like some of the slouches that get on. She's a commuter like me. But poor lady has something wrong with her, a bum knee, a bad ankle, a rusty hip. She moves slow and her cane is of little help. She also carries a purse the size of a gym bag and another little bag that could hold the gym. And she has poor taste in shoes.

Yesterday, not orthopedic granny slippers or even no-nonsense sneakers. Wooden clogs with a two-inch heel. You know, the perfect shoes for someone's who's been hobbled...

Also in the morning, we always pick up the Fat Boys. There's three of them total, but they're not really a group. They are fat though, that's for sure. One of them rocks a faux-hawk, a chain wallet, and T-shirts from Hot Topic. He bought a Discount pass, even though he's not eligible, and the bus driver wasn't having any of that. Today there was quite a scene as an RTD supervisor showed up to scold the dude. If I was Fat Boy #1, I'd just take a different bus. Or not even flash the pass.

Fat Boys #2 and #3 get on later, and I think they're brothers. They have the unfortunate body types that send fat straight to their legs, and when they get on the bus creaks a little as they heave towards the back. Either one of them would take up a whole seat so they almost have to sit in the back. Squeezing down the tiny corridor every day must seem like a gauntlet of staring eyes and steel bars. Life must be torture for them.

On the train, I saw the girl that works at Tokyo Joe's. She's a hot little punk chick, jeans, T-shirt, studded belt, skate shoes, facial piercing. And she's got the attitude, too. Hanging out, it might be entertaining (probably not) but I can tell you from personal experience, the attitude doesn't help with the food purchasing experience. But she is cute, even with that thing sticking out of her lip, and that counts for a lot. (Especially in superficial encounters like ordering food or riding a train.)

She spent the entire time --waiting on the platform, actually riding the train-- talking on her cell phone. I have to say, that didn't really look good on her.

Several weeks ago, I ran into this overly friendly dude named Harold at the train station. He noticed that I was taking the same route - same bus, same train, same station - and so we chatted about that for a while, you know, small talk. But then he said something that struck me as odd. He said, "So you're what, six two? Six one?"

"Six even," I said, again, just small talk. But afterwards I started wondering about that. Sure, I'm tall, but not freakishly tall. I'm average tall, boring tall, the kind of tall you don't ask a stranger about.

Then I realized, he's sizing me up. He's physically sizing me up. And that can mean only one of two things: he either wants to fuck me or he wants to fight me. And I don't want to do either!

Thankfully I haven't seen Harold since and I hope I never do again.

A Taste of Their Own Medicine

Here's right-wing blogger Ace of Spades sounding curiously like an average liberal during the Bush years.
This is fucking insane and it must stop. I will not be bullied by this ludicrous magical thinking brigade who insists that only Nice and Positive Words must be uttered or else one is contributing one's Evil Energy to the Wrong Side.

It's insane.

I disagree with you. I have tried to do so pleasantly but I am tired of the imputation of bad motive simply because I am more realistic and less prone to flights of hopeful fancy than you.

If you think I'm wrong, say so (like eman). I do not mind being called wrong. I do, however, greatly mind being called a traitor, of harboring a secret agenda I hide from you in order to advance the MSM's interests, etc., and all the rest of this insane bullshit.

Someone can be wrong HONESTLY, without the need of claiming he's wrong dishonestly, wrong because he's actively intending to subvert the cause (so he can of course get invited to these famous DC dinner parties, etc.)
As a guy who was against the Iraq War before the first shot was fired -and spent the intervening years defending not only my patriotism but my basic human dignity- I know exactly how he feels.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

You Go Girl

Sarah Palin has threatened to sue some bloggers for saying bad things about her, in particular, a blogger named Shannyn Moore.

In response, Moore said this:
Sarah Palin is a coward and a bully. What kind of politician attacks an ordinary American on the Fourth of July for speaking her mind?
The kind that should not be elected, that's who.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy 4th

The Grand Finale of the local fireworks display.

A Contrast in Crowds

I heard yesterday there was going to be another round of Tea Parties, the anti-tax protests people launched a couple months ago in response to the stimulus package. Crowd counts will be coming in shortly, I'm sure.

I was thinking about those Tea Parties last week when I went downtown with my Mom for the annual Pridefest parade and festival. Afterwards I saw articles in the newspaper that pinned the crowd at 100,000 and even up to 250,000, which by their very even and arbitrary nature are clearly pulled out of thin air.

But there was a lot of people. This picture captures the foreground quite well, but if you zoom in on the background, you can see the ocean of people streaming down Colfax.

Pretty impressive.


I had a dream that I was married to Soledad O'Brien. She was reporting from a Wal-Mart, and for some reason I was there to. I snuck out of from behind a clothes rack while she was doing a spot and grabbed her up into a big loving bear hug. Her little feet kicked at the air as I planted a big wet one on her cheek.

She was surprised and embarrassed, but not mad. Her camera crew thought it was sweet and they all clapped.

It was true love, I tell ya.